Omar al-Bashir
Omar al-Bashir Reuters

After South Africa initially ignored the International Criminal Court (ICC) call to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes, the African nation's high court is to hear Bashir's case on Monday and potentially hand him over.

Bashir arrived in Johannesburg on Sunday for an African Union (AU) conference, and reportedly was given a warm reception despite the ICC warrant.

But Al Jazeera reports the Sudanese leader was barred from leaving South Africa pending an application to arrest him, leading to the high court case in Pretoria on whether or not to hand him over to the ICC.

Evidently the court proceedings will focus on whether the South African governmental cabinet decision to invite Bashir took precedence over the ICC arrest warrant or not.

Bashir is wanted for war crimes in Darfur, which has been in conflict since 2003; some 300,000 people have died. 

Despite the exit ban and court case, Sudanese presidency spokesperson Mohamed Hatem told Reuters that Bashir would be leaving later on Monday.

"President Bashir is still in Johannesburg but we are leaving South Africa today," said Hatem.

The ICC, located in The Hague, issued an arrest warrant against Bashir back in 2009 for his role in the reported genocide committed in Darfur, but has yet to place him in the docket given that the court has no legal force and relies heavily on member states to carry out arrests.

Bashir has had numerous travel bans issued against him which have curtailed some of his international travel, but has visited several sympathetic states in the Middle East and Africa.

Some AU officials have accused the ICC of overly focusing its attentions on Africans and have asked it to refrain from launching proceedings against leaders currently in office, such as Bashir.